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Tag: Beethoven 9th


Tacoma Symphony Orchestra puts on a joyful finale at the Pantages, despite amplification issues, in Beethoven’s 9th last Saturday

Tacoma’s Pantages Theater was filled last Saturday night with joyous sounds from both stage and audience – appropriate enough, since the program for the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra’s season finale included Beethoven’s 9th symphony with its beloved “Ode to Joy” final movement. But while the evening featured some very fine playing from the orchestra, masterful control from director Harvey Felder and delightful singing from all four soloists, the Tacoma Symphony Chorus was unfortunately hampered by something you don’t really want to hear in this colossal masterpiece – bad audio amplification.

The basic problem all classical music groups encounter in the Pantages is lousy acoustics. The architecturally splendid hall was in fact built for vaudeville and film, not orchestras, and anyone trying to make a lovely instrumental sound in there is hit by a wall of deadness, cutting off reverberation and making the most golden tones sound harsh. The fact that the orchestra sounded so good playing this dramatically bursting music shows just how well they played. Read more »


Beethoven’s triumphant Ninth Symphony closes the season for Tacoma Symphony Orchestra this Saturday at the Pantages Theater

The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra and chorus and prominent local soloists join forces Saturday night for the season finale, a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, the “Choral.” One of the most beloved and influential pieces in all Western classical music, the symphony includes the famous fourth movement “Ode to Joy.” A contemporary piece written about the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks and a Strauss waltz complete the program, held at Tacoma’s Pantages Theater.

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was the composer’s last, written in 1824 when he was already deaf. After a stunning premiere it went on to take its place as not only one of classical music’s most beloved pieces but as one of its seminal works: It was the first time a chorus had been used in a symphonic work (singing Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” in the final movement) and the beginning of the large 19th-century symphony style. Adopted as the European anthem, it was played to celebrate the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and has been used as a musical symbol of peace throughout the world. Read more »